“Gossip” by Mary Kathryn Burke, NYC

Gossip August 31, 2011 03:33

topic: GOSSIP medium: TEXT
I pray to whatever God exists that for one tenth. Of one second. Of my
future. I will feel…about my future husband… the way I felt about Alex

For all of freshman year. For all of sophomore year. For all of – I
was convinced – eternity.

My Park Avenue townhouse of a high school had a spiral marble
staircase for a hall and lockers in the basement. I knew Giovanni’s
schedule coming and going.

It wasn’t hard.

With 200 kids in your high school you pass every student between every class.

Every. Student.

Some of the teachers used to go there. To the school. When they were
us. With classmates who had older siblings who were also classmates of
said teachers – there were stories.

Daniel McManahan’s older brother? The one who went to Notre Dame?
Prom. Rita Mahadev. YES – the one who teaches AP Bio. On the pool
table. In the senior rec. room. You ever wonder why it wobbles?

Mr. Bick’s roommate Tim—the one who directs Mamet on our makeshift
stage when most would stay safe with Inge? We all know what’s up. And
even the frattiest boys in their navy blue blazers respect it. Jesuit
high school: truly the last bastion of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.

Mr. Stonesworth? AP Psych? Have you found his pseudonymous erotica
yet? I know you haven’t heard of Google. I know it’s 1998. We
understand the value of research.

He took us to see those sharks in formaldehyde though. And the
elephant dung virgin. And had us question if it was art. Just don’t
tell your parents. Or the endangered nuns.

And Andrew Giovanni. Everybody knew. Nobody said anything. And when he
touched my back by accident. Through my blazer. On the marble. As if
to just nudge me aside. To look at casting list. He knew what he was
doing. And I quivered.

And I hope I ever feel like that again.

And ever know the local legends so well.

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